Transportation in China

From Academic Kids

This article is on the Transportation in Mainland China. See also Transportation in Taiwan, Transportation in Hong Kong, and Transportation in Macau

Transportation in the People's Republic of China has improved remarkably starting in the late 1990s as part of a government effort to link the entire nation through a series of expressways known as the National Trunk Highway System. Private car ownership is increasing but remains uncommon, in large part due to government policies designed to make car ownership expensive through the use of taxes and toll roads.

Air travel has increased since the late-1990s but remains out of reach for most ordinary Chinese. Long distance transportation for most Chinese is still dominated by the railways and bus systems.

Transportation in China is overseen by the Ministry of Communication of the People's Republic of China.



Main article: Railways in China

Total: 70,058 km (including 5,400 km of provincial "local" rails)
Standard gauge: 68,000 km 1.435-m gauge (18,668 km electrified; 20,250 km double track)
Narrow gauge: 3,600 km 0.750-m gauge local industrial lines (1998 est.)
Double track: 22,640 km (not included in total) (2003)

Transrapid (a German maglev company, which has a test track in Emsland, Germany), constructed the first operational maglev railway in the world, from Shanghai to its airport. It was inaugurated in 2002.

There is an ambitious plan for more high speed rail by 2005.

Currently, China is being served by about twenty principal domestic railway routes.

Qinghai-Tibet Railway

A 1,080-km (670-mile) section of the Qinghai-Tibet railroad is currently under construction from Golmud to Lhasa. It includes the now completed 3,345-meter Yangbajain No. 1 tunnel which is 4,264 meters above sea level and located 80 km NW of the regional capital Lhasa. The 815-km section from Xining to Golmud in Qinghai opened to traffic in 1984.

More than 960 kilometers, or over four-fifths of the railway, will be built at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters, and over half of it will be laid on frozen earth.

The railway's highest point, the Tanggula Mountain Pass, is 5,072 meters above sea level.

Thirty railway stations are to be built, among them Tanggula Mountain station, which at 4,500 m will be one of the highest-altitude railway stations in the world (after Cndor station, at 4,786 m, on the Rio Mulatos-Potos line, Bolivia, and La Galera at 4,781 m in Peru).

Rail-laying in Tibet was launched in double directions, towards Tanggula Mountain and Lhasa, at Anduo Railway Station on 22 June 2004. When the railway construction is complete (expected in 2005; signalling and track testing require another 6 to 12 months), it will be possible to travel from Lhasa to Beijing in 48 hours. The railway will later be extended to Xigaze (to the west) and Linzhi (Nyingchi, to the east).

Because of the high altitudes, carriages will be pressurised.

Railway links with adjoining countries


Cities with metro systems:

Metro systems under construction:

Roads and Expressways

Total: 1.21 million km
Paved: 271,300 km (with at least 24,474 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 938,700 km (1998 est.)

China is linked by an evolving web of roads (China National Highways) and expressways. China National Highways stretch to all four corners of China (Xinjiang, Tibet, Heilongjiang and the south and southeastern Chinese coast). Expressways reach the same destinations as China National Highways, except for the rugged terrain of Tibet. There are virtually no plans at current to construct an expressway to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, but a railways is under construction.

For more expressway information see Expressways of China.



237 (2000 est.)

Of China's large airports, Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) in the Hong Kong SAR has the greatest flow of passengers annually. In Mainland China, the Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK), Shanghai's Pudong International Airport (PVG) and Hongqiao Airport serve the heaviest traffic flow. Other large airports include Guangzhou's New Baiyun International Airport (CAN), Qingdao, Chongqing and Dalian.

Domestic traffic in China is often connected through Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. Hubs for Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, respectively.

For flights to Taiwan, see Three Links.

Airports - with paved runways

Total: 192
Over 3,047 m: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 65
1,524 to 2,437 m: 90
914 to 1,523 m: 13
Under 914 m: 6 (1996 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways

Total: 14
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 1 (1996 est.)



110,000 km navigable (1999)

Navigable waterways include: Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), Grand Canal of China, Huangpu river, Lijiang River, Xi Jiang


Crude oil 9,070 km; petroleum products 560 km; natural gas 9,383 km (1998)

A major project is the construction of a large natural gas pipeline from Xinjiang to eastern China. The government hopes that this will reduce the use of coal which is responsible for much air pollution.

Ports and harbours

Dalian, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Haikou, Huangpu, Lianyungang, Nanjing, Nantong, Ningbo, Qingdao, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shantou, Tianjin, Xiamen, Xingang, Yantai, Zhanjiang

Merchant marine

Total: 1,746 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 16,637,023 GRT/24,552,567 DWT
Ships by type: barge carrier 2, bulk 325, cargo 840, chemical tanker 21, combination bulk 11, combination ore/oil 1, container 125, liquified gas 20, multi-functional large load carrier 5, passenger 8, passenger/cargo 46, petroleum tanker 251, refrigerated cargo 24, roll-on/roll-off 21, short-sea passenger 43, specialized tanker 2, vehicle carrier 1 (1999 est.)

See also

External link

fr:Transport en Chine zh:中国交通


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